Ballet slippers, a pair of tap shoes, a jazz number, a littlehip hop and some modern dance mix together to create theTyler Junior College Dancefest.The annual spring Dancefest onMay 2 and 3 is a combination of college and Dance academystudents performing different styles of dance.
“The first half features selections from ballet and thesecond act is jazz, modern, hip hop and tap,” said Director ofAcademy of Dance and TJC Dance Instructor Jennifer Bailey.
The Dancefest gives TJC dance students as well as theAcademy of Dance students a chance to bring their talents togetheron one stage and give the audience an enjoyable performance.
“It [Dancefest] gives a great introduction to all the danceforms because you get to see all levels from beginner up and allages,” said Bailey. “It gives a pre-professional quality to performanceand [it] really sets a cultural education that can eitherinspire [one] to take dance or to become a patron of the art.”
With a Bachelor’s degree in dance, Bailey always knew shewanted to teach dance. Dancefest gives Bailey an opportunityto director dancers from the age of 4 to the age of 65 in the artof dancing.
“I feel very honored to be in the position I’m in,” said Bailey.” I take it very seriously. It’s rewarding to see students workhard and achieve their dreams.
Academy students and lead ballet performers AlexandraSampson, 17, and Robin Westby, 20, thrive more through theballet portion of the event.
“This my seventh Dancefest,” said Sampson. “I’ve beendancing since I was in the fifth grade.”
For Westby, it is her second year to participate in the Dancefest.
“It’s more exciting than nerve-racking,” said Westby witha smile.
“Performing is exhilarating and exciting,” adds Sampson. “Performing makes everything worth it.”
For students who wish to participate in the Dancefest, Baileyadvises enroll in a college dance course or an academyclass.
The Dancefest is a two-day event in the Wise Auditoriumbeginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday night. General admissiontickets are $5.